Opinion Poll Archive
February 13 - February 23, 2004 - Community Council: Has it been helpful?
The Community Council, now in its third year, was formed to improve communications between the elected directors and property owners. Has the council been helpful to you in keeping informed about POA issues?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • Never heard of the council.
  • I am not asked for any input before their meetings. Don't know when they are having meetings. Just another invisible committee.
  • Who is the rep for Locust Lane? Never have heard from anyone. Is this thing really organized? As part timers, we would love to hear from (our rep) and have input.
  • …in practice it seemed to begin with more passion than with good procedural guidelines. Each neighborhood council will likely have a different view as to its value. The reports from the council were prone to become old news by (the time of) its receipt. Also, the reports were often laboriously detailed…
  • Communications has improved considerably by means of the twice-a-month messages from the POA management. The Community Council, while well intended, may actually impede good communications. Think about it in terms of our elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels. We don't want or need a layer of bureaucrats imposed between us and our elected representatives who make decisions on our behalf. - Warren Culpepper
  • In its first year, our representative Susan Reemsnyder made an effort to contact us and to represent us. The new rep does not contact us at all for opinions, nor does he or she report back to us. I don't even know who it is! - Barb Kelly
  • We have been here a year and have never been informed about what and who the council is.
  • With all the vacancies, it looks like interest is dropping.
  • Ray Prescott has been great about collecting issues in advance of the meetings and then disseminating results from those meetings. He's done a great job!
  • It depends on the individual representative and how they follow up on the meetings.
  • I believe this group could be invaluable if their charge is known. Those elected take those charges seriously, and the POA Board will listen. My vote was "somewhat helpful" since we really have not been kept informed as well as we could have been; however, the role of the Council should be well-defined to those living in the Council (Community) areas. Go, Guys!
October 21 - October 28, 2003: Message Board: Good or Bad?
A POA Message Board correspondent says that it has “deteriorated into a sounding board for the most inflammatory type of gossip,” and has raised a question as to whether it has outlived its usefulness. What do you think? Is it still useful or not?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • As a Florida resident, I enjoy keeping up with opinions posted on the message board. Very few comments are out of order. Please keep up the communication from the homeowners.
  • I no longer even look at it for several reasons. One is the constant gripe content.
  • I read the site regularly because I am a part-time resident and like to get updates but I am very disappointed with the negative posts that continually appear from the same negative people over and over again...only they don't see themselves as negative but instead fulfilling some kind of public service. Go figure?
  • For part-timers, it is a good way to get information. We are intelligent enough to filter out malicious gossip, etc.
  • Message boards are usually dominated by a hand full of folks looking for a place to vent. Not usually useful.
  • Life can't all be sugar, there's got to be spice. To the people who think it has gotten to "gossipy," get REAL. This is life.
  • Big Canoe should not provide a public venue for a small mean spirited group who sound off with a classic "lack of civility" in their messages.
  • Yes, it does have a valued place for criticism, and it beats spray paint graffiti.
  • Keep it for POA, special function, or POA committee info only. A handful of people have lowered the decorum of the message board's purpose in the guise of "informing" the residents of things most residents already know, anyway. The argument saying it is a good forum to allow people to "vent their feelings and frustrations" is flawed. For the most part, there is nothing but garbage on the board now. Big Canoe existed this long before the board existed without needing an outlet to "vent one's feelings"; I say it will survive without it. Basically, if you need to ask a question, or "vent," call a member of the POA board.
  • I would be disappointed to lose a valuable means of communicating thoughts regarding our community. I am surprised that a poll is being conducted because one individual has expressed concern and further do not believe that there has been inflammatory gossip but rather a healthy exchange of opinions and information. With that exchange goes a certain level of enthusiasm and emotion
  • The board is especially good for new residents like us. It helps a great deal. Believe better judgment should be used in all the comments. Lets praise in public and be critical if need be in private.
  • For those who have heard the term "Push-Poll" but who do not know what a Push-Poll is, take a look at the way the questions are phrased in this poll, and you will see a perfect example of a Push-Poll.
  • I have never used it. I did not know it existed.
September 3 - September 9, 2003: Driving in Big Canoe
What's your overall experience driving the community's 80 miles of roads? Let's give it a grade and, of course, don't be bashful about providing comment. How's the driving in Big Canoe?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • We need shuttle buses to cut down on cars.
  • You need to be better than average to drive mountain roads and have so few accidents
  • Please people, stay on your side of the road. Thank you.
  • Some folks obey the traffic laws while others drive through stop signs and speed around curves on the wrong side of the centerline. Scary!
  • Most residents and property owners are good. Some of our older residents are hazardous. Sub contractors and building suppliers drive too fast and create hazardous conditions.
  • The stop sign where Wilderness forks off Cox Mountain needs a line painted so drivers will know where to stop…
  • Too many people take blind curves too wide, and most of these are work vehicles
  • Tailgating and speeding are major problems...not just from visitors and workers, but also from Big Canoe owners. Aggressive driving habits are dangerous in our mountain environment...
August 23 - September 2, 2003: Opinion Poll: August 23rd Town Hall Meeting
Did you leave Saturday’s Town Hall meeting with a more positive feeling about the POA board’s handling of the current crisis?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • Jim Deach & Board, THANKS!
  • I believe the current Board members are masters of deception.
  • Thank you POA Board for doing a fine job and putting us back on the right track!
  • "Also of significance, Bill Byrne, speaking for the developer, acknowledged the need to address the governance issue in Big Canoe and said it could be five or more years away." Nothing has changed here at Big Canoe.
  • The mood was definitely positive and even Bill Byrne received a positive crowd reaction.
  • Crisis at BC mitigated.
  • It was too little too late.
  • I was very pleased with the response from the elected directors and the developer.
  • The meeting was handled in a professional manner and was conducted in a way that was helpful in diffusing a contentious situation. However, it will be the follow up to the recommendations and promises that will tell the tale. One thing appears certain: The Big Canoe Homeowners will never again let the operations go on without careful monitoring.
  • I was proud of the way the community responded Saturday to this crisis.
August 7 - August 16, 2003: Opinion Poll: Good idea or bad idea?
For the past month, Smoke Signals Online has posted an opinion poll on current issues in Big Canoe. It is not a scientifically conducted poll and is subject to multiple voting. The poll may not reflect the views of the community as a whole. Do you think the poll is a good idea or a bad idea?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • if polls are good enough for clinton to run the country, they should be good enough for Little Big Horn Canoe
  • The polls are worded is a negative way. Please try and word the questions in a positive manner.
  • Because it's not "scientifically conducted", it's not much more than a gimmick - yet some people rely on these results as gospel, and use the results to support their statements that "the majority of BC residents believe . . . "
  • Don't seem to be listened to
  • Useful even though limited.
  • Good idea if basic controls are applied.
August 2 - August 7, 2003: CFO allegations of financial improprieties
Allegations have been made by Cary Smith, the former CFO of the Big Canoe Property Owners Association (POA) that financial improprieties have occurred in the operations of the POA. In response, the Board of Directors of the Big Canoe Home Owners Association (HOA) has called for an immediate, independent investigation of all aspects of these allegations, with the results reported to the community. It has recommended that: (a) A Blue Ribbon panel without ties to the POA organization should be selected, to oversee a thorough review and audit of all of the issues identified by Mr. Smith, and (b) Any personnel possibly tied to these allegations should be placed on administrative leave immediately.
1. With respect to the HOA Board's recommendation for the creation of an independent Blue Ribbon Panel, do you agree?
2. With respect to the HOA Board's recommendation that personnel tied to these allegations be placed on administrative leave, do you agree?
July 30 - August 2, 2003: Promotional Banners
The POA Board of Directors has approved a recommendation by the general manager to discontinue the use of promotional banners at the entrances to Big Canoe. Do you agree or disagree with this action?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • I believe that discrete and tasteful banners can serve a useful purpose in keeping both visitors and residents informed of upcoming events. If done right, these banners can imply that the community is vibrant and active. However, the POA Board's delayed and inadequate disclosure to date about the financial improprieties suggests that its members lack a good appreciation for or understanding of the use of publicity. I don't fault them for that or mean this critically, for they are volunteers who are doing their best in very difficult circumstances, and they deserve our thanks for their dedicated efforts. At the same time, I would like to encourage them to think about how to get a wider cross section of the community involved before making decisions like banning banners. For such issues, this Smoke Signals poll might be a good device to get advance feedback from the community. /s/ Warren Culpepper
  • I like banners.
  • Tasteful banners (as are used by the Chapel) are a good way to let folks know what is going on.
  • We have so many bigger fish to fry, I think Big Canoe people just need something to complain about. You can count on one hand the number of banners posted IN A YEAR! If it wasn't for my little piece of heaven and view, I'd be long gone. The thing that was Big Canoe, in the good old days, is long gone.
  • It had gotten out of hand.
July 24 - July 30, 2003: GeoSyntec Report
According to the GeoSyntec report in July’s Smoke Signals, there are sufficient sources of water in BC to take care of our needs at build-out, but a proposed Blackwell Creek plant must become operational in a timely manner to prevent a significant draw-down of Lake Petit. Are you satisfied with the report or do you still have concerns?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • We need to set a date to have the Blackwell Creek plant operational. A timely manner is not the way we should be setting needs as critical to us as water. We need to act now and be proactive for a change. We should be putting a limit on the number of new homes that can be built until we are able to support our water needs.
  • I am concerned because I can actually see Lake Petit and all the water contained therein. I don't know anything about Blackwell Creek, but have trouble visualizing enough water there to solve our needs.
  • On paper the report seems OK but how reliable will Blackwell remain? Can we rely on the developer to move promptly with the Blackwell processing facility? I feel we will continue to see low water level issues with Lake Petit for quite some time.
  • I'm satisfied with the report but not with the lack of calendar on when the Blackwell Creek plant will become a reality.
  • I am concerned about the water study for two reasons. FIRST: I am concerned about the population growth that was assumed. The study was based on a growth of dwellings from 2,577 to 4,050, a 157% increase. We actually only have 1,800 dwellings, and the developer's plan is for growth to 4,300. There appears to have been no allowance for growth in average family size (which I think will grow by 15% from 2.0 to 2.3 over the next decade), and there appears to have no allowance for a greater percentage of full-time residents (my calculations show that this will place another 10% load on the water supply). The net result as I have figured it is that the resident population (and probably water usage) will triple at buildout. This is TWICE the growth assumed in the study. I have made the POA board members aware of my concerns, and none have bothered to respond other than to say that yes they did get my analysis. The few non-board members that I have shown my numbers to all agree that my numbers seems reasonable. So yes, I am quite concerned, particularly with the POA board that commissions the study and then doesn't bother to respond to fact-based arguments than undermine the credibility of the statistics that they gave to the engineering firm. Give the engineers bad data, and they will give us a useless report. SECOND: No mention was made as to whether the state will allow us to take that much water out of Blackwell Creek. Perhaps this is not a problem, but if it is not, it should be explicitly stated. /s/ Warren Culpepper
July 16 - July 23, 2003: New Playground Equipment
The newly installed playground equipment at the Play Field was an issue at the recent HOA meeting and with some writers on the POA message board. Do you like it or dislike it? Or maybe it’s not a problem to you one way or the other.

Selected Poll Comments:
  • This is the worst eyesore that has been introduced to Big Canoe. In the past everything has been done in good taste and in keeping with the "look" of Big Canoe. This huge piece of plastic must be removed. If you must have it, put it over in the Wildcat area where no one can see it from the street. That's where all the kids play anyway. MOVE IT! or better yet.....get rid of it!
  • I own a day care center in Marietta and this is the ONLY approved playground equipment the franchise company allows. It is safe, durable and the kids love it. Wood equipment made of pressure treated wood is not good because pressure treated wood is toxic.
  • Pressure treated pine may be a hazard to children, but redwood is not dangerous because it is a harder wood and does not require any treatment…
  • It is not conforming to ACC color guidelines. Also, it is plastic. If homeowners have to comply with ACC, then the POA-designed park equipment should also comply.
  • The only thing missing is the pink flamigo's and a Camero on blocks.
  • Why wont some POA board members answer their phones?
  • Thank you to all involved in the new playground area!!! …Our hats off to all those in the planning and all those involved in the hard work to establish and complete it! Thank you! Thank you! Tony and Dee Kijanko
  • Inappropriate and embarrassing for an environmentally friendly community such as Big Canoe. Move it to the Wildcat area near the ball fields and out of view of a major road.
  • I think it's a whole lot about nothing...
  • It would be nice to let the powers to be finish the plan instead of forming an opinion on a project that is only in the initial stages of development. Why not give things a chance to proceed and, when the entire park plan is completed, then let us make opinions.
  • It looks like McDonalds. Just awful, does not blend with the nature of Big Canoe.
  • The playground should be moved to Wildcat area because it does not blend with nature and it should not be in the curve of the road. Too dangerous!!!!
  • It appears that the same person is writing the "awful" comments about the wonderful new amenity for our children. Finally a safe, non-toxic, exciting to look at playground. Congratulations for doing a great job so far.
  • Personally, I think the new playground looks fun and inviting. The kids seem to enjoy it also. I don't think wooden equipment is as versatile and maintenance free as plastic.
  • If you go to www.playmart.com you will note that the equipment comes in two shades: beige and dark brown. It would appear a LOT better if dark brown had been selected…
  • Hey, why aren't people up in arms about the HUGE blue umbrellas at the pool?
  • I appreciate the fact that we have conscientious community members who generously volunteer their time to serve on the HOA and POA boards. In this capacity, they have to make decisions, most of which will draw flack from one corner or another. The choice of playground equipment appears to be one more example. To whoever made the decision, thank you! The equipment was needed and seems appropriate. To those who are so prone to criticize, I encourage you spend more of your energy in volunteer efforts and in thanking the others who are serving so selflessly. Let's work together to build a more positive and accepting community! /s/ Warren Culpepper
July 11 - July 15, 2003: Signage
The newly designed sign at the entrance of Blackwell Creek is being studied for possible use throughout Big Canoe. Some say it is unattractive. Do you agree or disagree?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • We have managed to turn our once beautiful community into the thing we moved away from - a subdivision. My Lord, we could not even use artificial shingles on our roof. Where did our ACC go? I am beginning to miss them very much.
  • Let's not change something else that changes Big Canoe from what attracted me to it. Please keep it more natural. Thanks for listening.
  • The clarity of the sign is good. However, it does not have the "wooded community" look. It looks like it should be a suburban community.
  • I like the sign OK, but isn't 'Holley' spelled wrong? It doesn't reflect well on Big Canoe if we can't spell.
  • NOT consistent with the natural environment of Big Canoe!
  • Not in keeping with a naturally wooded environment.
  • Ugly and disruptive of the natural surroundings... No way!!
  • House colors must blend with the environment. Signs should follow the same regulations.
  • What is the big flap about? It's only a sign.
  • Big expenditure for something not needed.
  • Signage is very important but lately "bright and colorful" seems to be the motif. Children's playground case in point. What happened to WOOD at Big Canoe. And what about those ugly yellow parking strips at the Chapel? Are we on our way to being a suburb of Alpharetta-Dunwoody?
  • At least it is easy to read.
  • The sign design format size, layout and arraingement is good, with the following exception: In keeping with Big Canoe color standards to require all homes to blend better with our natural surroundings, I think also the signage should conform as well. Get rid of the WHITE and use a muted tan that will still have enough contrast to read the lettering. White willl show mold and mildew easier and require mor emaintenance to keep looking "white". So my disagree vote is a qualified vote, for which there were no poll provisions.
  • People will start wanting to paint their HOMES these colors, bleechhh!
  • We can't use white on our houses or even have white outside furniture. Why should we have sings with white on them? The sign doesn't fit in with the rustic mountain theme. It looks like it should be in Crooked Creek or Winward subdivision in Alpharetta!
July 4 - July 11, 2003: Lot Consolidation
Smoke Signals writer John Baugus reports that the POA Board at its June meeting killed further consideration of lot consolidation. Are you pleased by this action or displeased?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • Consolodation will help to keep open space.
  • I can only see lot consolidation being good for Big Canoe. The total number of people benefitting from it would not drastically effect POA's budget.
  • As a widow on fixed income, it is becoming harder and harder for people like me to remain here. Lot consolidation means the wealthy can own several properties and pay the same as those of us who pray everyday we can somehow be able to financially remain in the homes we love in Big Canoe.
  • I'm ambivalent on this issue. I do like the idea that homeowners can buy adjoining lots to prevent building right next to them, thereby limiting the number of houses to be built in Big Canoe. However, I don't like the idea of the ability to buy lots without supporting the community with full property owner fees.
  • Seems like this needs to be done!
June 26 - July 3, 2003: Condition of Big Canoe Roads
Generally speaking, what is your opinion of the condition of Big Canoe’s roads?

Selected Poll Comments:
  • I voted poor considering: width, condition on paving--actually sliding of subsurface in many places- condition of shoulders and the lack of guard rails in critical places.
  • They would probably be excellent if it were not for the fact that heavy trucks / equipment beat them to death.
  • Some very bad areas are not fixed for weeks.
  • They would be excellent if they were wider around blind turns.
  • Very dangerous going into fitness center can't see going uphill.
  • Potholes in roads to 400 condo section get worse by the day.
  • Need safety/warning signs where dangerous conditions exist.
June 16 - June 23, 2003: Special assessment for storm cleanup
Big Canoe Homeowners: To help pay for storm damage cleanup, do you favor a one-time special assessment of $150 or a $12.50 assessment payment added to your POA bill over a 12-month period?

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